From Paris With Love: Latest Brexit Twist for Audiovisual Media Services Industry


With just under 2 months to go before the UK is due to exit the EU and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit still looming, the UK audiovisual media services industry, the largest in the EU, was recently dealt a further blow; French President, Emmanuel Macron, confirmed that France will ensure the audiovisual media sector is excluded from any free trade agreement between the UK and the EU.

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Japan Adequacy Decision Adopted by the EU Commission

On 23 January 2019, the EU Commission adopted a decision confirming the adequacy of Japanese data protection laws for the purpose of transferring personal data from the EU to Japan in compliance with the international data transfer restrictions set out in Chapter V of the GDPR. Continue reading

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Digital TMT and Sourcing Predictions 2019


2018 was a landmark year for digital TMT and sourcing.

Against the backdrop of the UK’s impending departure from the EU, there were a wealth of highlights as regulation moved further towards greater harmonisation at the European level; the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR“) came into effect on 25 May 2018 and implemented a comprehensive reform of the EU data protection regime. We also saw a comprehensive reform of the EU telecoms regulatory framework (with the European Electronic Communications Code entering into force), along with a directive modernising the existing audiovisual media services framework to reflect current market, consumption and technological changes. In line with the European Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy, both the Portability Regulation and the Geo-blocking Regulation further sought to remove cross-border barriers in the realm of paid-for online content portability and online trade of goods and services, respectively.

The emergence and uptake of new innovative technologies continued to become more pervasive across industries and functions, with the fast-paced digital environment in which we operate requiring organisations to think like technology companies to maintain competitive advantage. Twinned with the recognition of data as a critical asset, these factors continued to spark new global trends in mergers and acquisitions, as companies looked to acquire other companies to ensure access to this valuable asset and the underlying technology to realise that value, as well as the individual “talent” behind the technology itself. The buoyant M&A activity in the sector in the last 12 months was, and continues to be, unsurprising, as one way for organisations (including those outside the TMT sector) to disrupt their respective market, before they themselves are disrupted.

What could the next 12 months possibly have in store? This article sets out some predictions for further developments across the digital TMT and sourcing landscape in the year to come.

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Filed under Brexit, Case Law, Consultations, Cyber Security, Data Protection & Privacy, Digital, EU Law, FinTech, GDPR, Media & Entertainment, News, Outsourcing, Regulation, Sanctions, Technology, Telecommunications, UK Law

Data Protection Predictions 2019

2018 was a landmark year for data protection and privacy; the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) came into effect on 25 May 2018 and implemented a comprehensive reform of the EU data protection regime. So what could 2019 possibly have in store for data protection and privacy? This article sets out some predictions for further data protection developments in the year to come.

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March deadline approaches in call for views on government cyber security skills stategy

The UK Government recently launched a Call for Views on its Initial National Cyber Security Skills Strategy. The closing date for stakeholder responses is 1 March 2019, with the final strategy document expected to be published late in 2019. Continue reading

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Filed under Brexit, Cyber Security, Uncategorized

UK Government note clarifies “no deal” and data protection

The UK Government has published a “no deal” note to clarify how data protection law will work in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The note confirms that separate draft regulations and more detailed guidance will be published in the next few weeks but, in the meantime, it clarifies at a high level a number of key issues for organisations both within the UK and outside but doing business with the UK. Continue reading

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Reform of Telecommunications Framework

In May 2015, as part of its Digital Single Market Strategy, the European Commission published proposals to reform the EU telecommunications regulatory framework. Following a series of consultations in 2015, the Commission published further proposals to reform the EU legislation in September 2016, with the aim of improving internet connectivity across the EU. The proposals included: a directive setting out a European Electronic Communications Code (the Code), to replace the existing four key telecommunication directives; a regulation to increase the powers designated to the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, BEREC, including to contribute to the consistent application of the measures laid down by the Code (the Regulation); and an action plan for the development of 5G in Europe . Continue reading

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Updates to AVMS Directive enter into force

As part of its Digital Single Market Strategy and following extensive consultation in 2015, in May 2016 the European Commission adopted new legislative amendments to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (“AVMSD“). The proposals seek to modernise the Directive to reflect “market, consumption and technological changes”, largely arising from convergence between television and internet services and the increase in on-demand content consumption.

After a lengthy legislative process, the Council of the European Union formally adopted the AVMSD on 6 November 2018. The AVMSD was then published in the Official Journal of the European Union and entered into force on 19 December 2018. Member States now have 21 months to transpose it into national legislation (September 2020). Continue reading

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No more unjustified geo-blocking in the EU

The EU geo-blocking Regulation (Regulation 2018/302 of 28 February 2018) (the Regulation) comes into force on 3 December 2018. The Regulation aims to remove barriers to cross-border trade and enable consumers to purchase goods and services from businesses located in different Member States on equal terms to nationals of that Member State. Businesses selling online in the EU, regardless of where they are based, will need to make sure that their terms and conditions, including payment methods, do not discriminate against online customers on the basis of their nationality, place of residence or place of establishment.

Ending unjustified geo-blocking has been an important goal for the Commission under its Digital Single Market initiative which aims to break down barriers to cross-border online activity and remove key differences between online and offline markets. Other measures which are aimed at promoting cross-border e-commerce in the EU include:

  • a new Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services making pricing more transparent and affordable (which came into effect on 22 May 2018);
  • new rules to reduce the VAT related administrative burden of cross-border transactions (which come into effect in January 2021);
  • a new revised Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation (which will take effect from 17 January 2020) which will allow national authorities to cooperate to jointly address breaches of consumer law with a cross-border element.

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EDPB finally issues draft guidelines on GDPR extra-territoriality

On 23 November 2018, the European Data Protection Board (the “EDPB“) published its draft guidelines on Article 3 of the GDPR, being the provision that sets out the territorial scope of Europe’s data protection legislation.

The guidelines are only in draft form and subject to consultation but they do go some way to clarifying key questions regarding the application of the GDPR. That being said, they do not cover every possible permutation of Article 3, meaning that there remain gaps where organisations will need to exercise judgment without any comfort that their interpretation will align with that of the regulators. In particular, there would seem to still be question marks around the application of Article 3(2)(a) and what actually constitutes the offering of goods and services to individuals in the EU. Continue reading

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